Why are there no boy barbie dolls

Barbie turns 60: an icon through the ages

Overall, the doll has made an impressive change since the Mattel founders Ruth and Elliot Handler they presented at the New York Toy Fair in 1959. From the braid √° la Audrey Hepburn in the 1950s to the sun-tanned "Malibu Barbie" of the 70s to the emancipated Barbie of the 80s and 90s who worked as a doctor, astronaut, firefighter or manager. In 1992, the Barbie presidential candidate came on the market - it would be another 24 years before Hillary Clinton competed against Donald Trump in the United States. The latest achievement: a cooperation with National Geographic.Barbie is now going as a marine biologist, wildlife filmmaker, or entomologist.

With the perceived growing interest in gossip news, Barbie's love life also became an issue after the turn of the millennium. Had plastic boy Ken Having been at Barbie's side since 1961, Mattel announced the split between the two in 2004, only to reunite the dream couple in 2011. When it comes to wardrobe, accessories and hairstyles, some Barbies are still part of the international jet set, while others are - as in real life - artists, athletes or robotic engineers.

Although Barbie has long been considered sexist, of all things, self-confident feminist stars like the singer are likely to be Beyoncé, Actress Lena Dunham and # MeToo initiator Tarana Burke played into the cards of the manufacturer and boosted sales. Mattel's efforts to erect a monument to the protagonists of the film "Hidden Figures" should also contribute to this. It is about four NASA women whose math and computer skills contributed to the success of the US space program.

At the turn of the year, strong Barbie sales in the Christmas business helped the ailing industry giant back into the black. Before that, she mainly had the "Bratz" and "Moxie Girlz" from the manufacturer MGA There was competition, at times the puppet war even raged in court.

With the "Career Dolls", Mattel is further refining the image of the doll, whose full name is, by the way, Barbara Millicent Roberts. Among the heroines is a saber fencer doll Ibtihaj Muhammad with Muslim hijab, by filmmaker Patty Jenkins and aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart. With the feminist icon Frida Kahlo the shot backfired: Mattel stuck too much to classical ideals of beauty. The Kahlo doll then also resembles the Mexican painter - her trademark was her beard and her eyebrows that have grown together - only vaguely.

The "Barbie" collection will probably never be complete. From the point of view of critics, a transgender barbie and a gay couple are missing today. Matt Jacobi and Nick Caprio from Arizona therefore lend a hand in December: They bought the pink wedding set, took the Barbie out of the box and put a second Ken in it.

Johannes Schmitt-Tegge, dpa